Combining / Hiding Files in an Image via CMD

Let’s learn how to use the Windows command prompt (CMD) to hide any compressed data (movies, music, text, pics) in a picture.

Using this method you can add any number of files and any file types to an image file. The one thing to keep in mind, if you are trying to be sneaky, is the file size. If you are passing the picture of Alan Turing to a friend’s pen drive the transfer window says the single image is the size of an HD movie you might blow your cover.

This method is perfect for adding short secret text documents to an image. A short .txt file will only be a couple hundred bytes and that added to an HD image wouldn’t be noticeable by anyone that wasn’t scrutinizing the image itself.

Follow along with the video tutorial or the written tutorial below.

Watch the Video Tutorial

Written Tutorial Below the Video

Read the Written Tutorial

First thing to do is get a picture that will be our host, or the picture that everyone can see.

Name it something that is one word.

Important: as a general guide line when dealing with file names you want there to be no spaces. Use – or _ if you need multiple words. The host picture’s name must be one word!

I suggest an HD image so the file size isn’t too small. As I stated above if anyone looks at the properties of the image the size will be the total of all the files hidden inside plus that of the actual image.

*I suggest naming everything exactly the same as I have in order to follow along when its CMD time. Once you get the hang of it you can obviously change things up.

turing

Alan Turing

Once you have a picture go to the C drive of your computer and make a new folder. I named the new folder hide. You can call yours whatever you want, just remember its name.

Put the host picture into the folder.

Now gather the documents or media clips or whatever you want to hide in the host image and compress them into a .zip or .rar file. I have called mine secret.zip

PRO TIP: for further security and a higher level of ninja-ness add password protect to the .zip file 😉

Place the compressed file inside the new folder on the C drive.

file-structure-combine-hidden-files-image

Folder / File Structure

Command Prompt

Now we need to get into the command prompt. On Windows 8.1 you just need to right click the Windows icon on the bottom left of the task bar and click “Command Prompt”.

First Command : cd\

  • puts us in the C drive

Second Command : cd hide

  • puts us in the hide folder on the C drive

Third Command : copy /b turing.jpg + secret.zip alan_turing.jpg

  • makes a binary copy of the image and zip file into a new file.
  • Make sure the new image is of the same format of the host image.
  • the command for any images
    • copy b/ hostimage.(image format) + compressed.(zip, rar, 7z) newimagename.(same format as host image)
command-prompt-combining-binary-data-files

Command Lines – Combing binaries of multiple files

Once you run that third command you will see that there was “1 file(s) copied.” in the command prompt window. You will also see a new image file in the new folder (hide) on the C drive titled as whatever you specified as the new image’s name.

That’s it. You are done. You can click the new image and look at it normally. If you only added a text file you won’t notice a file size difference if you look at the properties or you will notice a difference if you used larger files.

Retrieving the Hidden Files

You will notice that if you click on the image in Windows 8.1 or 10 the normal picture tools options show up. That means we have hidden the compressed files well!

Now open your compressing / decompressing program (WinRAR) and navigate to the new image that contains the hidden compressed file. Once you click on it the hidden file will be revealed. While if you click on a normal image the image will simply open.

 

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Author: Joshua Casper

Joshua Casper is an Artist, Musician, and Blogger.

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